Setting Solid Foundations

It’s time to get down to work. This section is “Setting Solid Foundations”, and I really believe that this will be the key to the success for you. We’re going to talk about lots of other things later on, but now it’s getting the grounding right that will have long term benefits for your online presence. So what do I mean? First of all let’s understand the Internet! Most of us have a preconceived idea of what the Internet is or should be. I like to challenge people’s understanding and ask why? “Why is it that way?” and “Who cares?” So to kick it all off, when is a website not a website? When I started building websites way back in 1997, they were very different to the websites that you will be using on a day-to-day basis now. If we’d always assumed that what we had in 1997 was what we would always have, nothing would have changed. There would be no Social Media or any of these other amazing developments. So really think about “what is a website?” and what difference does it make to you and your business? Well quite simply it means this instead of starting your online presence with a preconceived idea of what it should look like and what functions it should have, think of it from the perspective of ‘What do your existing customers really need from you?’ ‘What do your prospects in the pipeline want to see from you?’ When we start looking at it that way, rather than trying to build up a presence based on what we’ve seen before, we will build a far more effective website. So I guess what we’re saying is a website should be about delivering what prospects, or an existing customer, need or want, rather than fitting things into a box. About us, Home, Contacts, Products, Services, this is all stuff we’ve seen before. I do agree that we need to keep some standardisation to make it easy for people to move around our websites; however what content should go on your website? How many times have you seen it when the Home Page or the About page are exactly the same? People put it on there because “You need to have those pages”. No, you don’t need to have those pages. You need to have the content that your prospects and your existing customers want to see on a website. So I encourage you now to take some time, stop everything else that you doing, and really focus on what it is that your customers need from your website and be really harsh with yourself. They don’t need to see some of the things that you want to tell them. Be really critical and ask “Who cares? Map it out on paper right now; map out exactly who you’re targeting and we will come on to defining it further. “What should be on that website?”, “What pages?”, and “What should the website do?”